Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Short fast and nice seeds for sale offer

I got a nice offer, 10 varieties of chilli, picked out of this years 110 varieties I've grown. 
I add 2 freebees and a wild chilli for a total of  19,50 Euro or 25 Dollar, including package ( a good bubble envelope ) and posting it worldwide.
So 25 all in, let me know if you want to have it before new year.


This is a limited offer !

You can contact me by email via my profile here

Via Facebook
Or Twitter @BartJMeijer

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Recipe: Sateh Babi and Sateh Ajam with Sateh sauce (peanut sauce)

Sateh is an Indonesian grilled meat dish on a bamboo stick, often served with a hot peanut sauce. It is a fast and lovely dish, can be grilled barbecued or pan-fried. The meat is marinated in a matter of half an hour, but could be left overnight in the marinade. As simple as it is, there is a total harmony in this dish, the smell is amazing and it will make you look like a first class cook!

So lets get started.

You need 500 grams of pork fillet, leave the fatty bits.
or 500 grams of chicken fillet.
Ginger (Jahe) powder or fresh ginger.
Coriander (Ketumbar) seeds or powder.
Cumin (Jinten) seeds or powder.
A knife point of Cinnamon (Korintje).
Sambal Ulek ( or fresh pepper paste with a bit of lemon and vinegar).
peanut oil or sunflower oil
Soy sauce
bamboo skewers

For the sauce you need:
Peanut butter
Soy sauce
Sweet chilli sauce

Cut the pork or the chicken fillet in cubes about an inch thick ( 2,5 cm ) Put the Bamboo Skewers in water, so they won't stick to the meat.

Make a Bumbu (herbs paste or marinade) grinding 1 clove of garlic, 1 chilli Lombok( red medium chilli annuum) or 3 Rawitt, 2 cm (just a little less than an Inch) of Ginger root together with 1 teaspooon course seasalt, adding slowly 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds, a tiny knife point of cinnamon, the oil, a few drops of lemon juice, a tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of soy sauce.

If you have powder and sambal or Sriracha only:
Cut the garlic very fine, put it on the meat, add 1-2 teaspoons of Sambal Ulek or Sriracha sauce, 2 teaspoons of ground ginger root, together with 1 teaspoon normal seasalt, 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds, a tiny knife point of cinnamon, a tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of soy sauce.

Mix the meat and the herbs and all, and leave it rest for at least 20 minutes.

Put the meat on the water soaked bamboo skewers, leaving the end to be able to turn them on the grill, in the pan or on the BBQ.

Make the Sateh Sauce:
Put 1 cup of milk (250 ml)2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce, 4 tablespoons of peanut butter in a pan.
Stir with a whisk when warming it to an almost boil. You will feel it getting thicker when warming up and should get to an almost syrup like consistency. Remember it should not boil! If it gets too thick add a bit of milk, if it gets too thin add a little peanut butter.
Keep it warm, but don't boil.

Grill, pan fry or BBQ the meat, turning it around. This will take you about 5 minutes, max 7.

Serve it with the sauce on top, not hiding all the meat!


Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer ( and the wife !

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Taste review unknown Yellow Crazy Hot,

Now my friend Henry and his friend Beppe from Italy send me one load of chillies you would not believe! They selected the ones I needed to taste, although they have a lot more, they wanted me to taste these ones. So I dug in and as it appears, with the first bite I made a mistake.
Now excuse me please, but I did get a little excited unpacking, and got punished. I unpacked one, bright yellow and a little orange, not pointy but irregular in a funny way.

The paper next to it said Cornetto Calabrese, so not knowing it I was taking good care but took a rather large piece from in between the seed lists. I felt like a chilli rookie again, man that pepper had me sing. Good grief it was hot, but tasty never the less, but boy did I sing. So I asked Henry if they always are that hot. Well then I understood I need to learn to speak and write Italian. Who needs Latin?

So, I thought I’d better taste on, I will get it later. The scent of this chilli is great, perfumy chinense, with fruits and sweets. The chinense part that sometimes has an irritating overtone in both smell and taste is not there, it is in balance. So tasting again, but more, much more careful. Tastng and smelling I get a scent and taste from Tea Rose, perfume. In the middle there is no sweets, no paprika but fruits and a bit of metal like bleeding. You get that in times if you eat superhot chillies like these. Rinse with milk and get back at it, smaller bits I take. In the tip of it I find a bit of sweet and tastes like pineapple. A little piece from the middle does give me a bit of a bitter, but not irritating as such, and again the tea rose and the perfumy chinense. At the top however I get apricot and tea rose as well as some paprika taste. This is one weird lovable chilli that is extremely hot, far hotter than a Fatalii.

So again I have a chat with Henry from Italy, asking what it is. In the end I show him the picture and the label that I thought belonged together. “Ah” Henry says “that is a Bhut Jolokia Yellow, and the best he has selected over more than 10 years”. Every time he only takes seeds from the plant he likes best, and sure did one great job. This my good readers is one chilli to respect, not feared, but used in little bits if you don’t want to be scorched. But this is a chilli that makes me think of a great Chili con Carne, that is subtle on the herbs. Good grief Beppe, I am so digging in the next one tomorrow. Thank you ever soo much, this is a superhot chilli I love !!

Yours sincerely,

Bart J Meijer

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Taste review: Parvifolium mini mini

Last year I was send some seeds from Lee, the founder of Wildchilli.eu.
One of them was the "Parvifolium mini mini" It even became one of the biggest plants I had this year.
Lee already warn me it would take a long time to ripen them, and he was right!
For more than months the fruits stayed green, and with winter and frost coming, I had to dig it out and take it inside.
Even inside, with warmer conditions, it didn't ripen. So today I decided to taste a green one.
The fruits of the Parvifolium mini mini are very small like the name already did suggest.

Now to the taste:
First (like you can expect from a green chilli) the typical green bell-pepper taste,
Followed by a nice fresh citrus, wow its just like a ripe lemon!
Then the heat kicks in, very shape sting in my tongue who also disappears rather quick, leaving me with a little taste like lemongrass.
A itchy feeling in my nose made me blow it..and then it started: This one burns in your nose!
The burning feeling you get under your nose when you have a cold and have to blow it a lot.....times ten!

Parvifolium mini mini, a little,citrus tasting, bugger, wonder how it will taste when ripe!


Monday, 10 December 2012

Chilli taste revies, the Purira

This is one extremely lovely chilli to look at, amazing colours and growth and nice white flowers.

The question however is, what this chilli is, a frutescens or a annuum? I have seen a load of debate about it, and no real outcome. Ah who cares, it looks stunning. I almost thought it was a snack pepper.

I have had these from a facebook friend in the Netherlands, and I took a look at all the pictures and really, it is stunning. It seemed to ripen off a bit late though.

Cutting this one open gave a lovely sweet smell and you could smell the heat. Other than sweet and hot they don't have a smell. So, in you go, and out again ! Good grief, that is one freaking hot pepper.
I read it being between 50K scoville and 400K scoville units the upper end being a nasty surprise from one plant to an other. If one is that hot, all at the same plant are that hot. Other than that first micro second of sweet I got no taste out of it at all. I cut between the seed lists, and just hot ans sweet. It is a perfect looker, and brings heat, no taste at all. One plus is, no taste is not a bitter one too. Great looker, but no thanks ! Great that you send them though Catharina, glad the next one was a load better !

Yours sincerely,

Bart J Meijer

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Fusion fish soup recipe with Sichuan flower pepper.

This is one fast recipe, with excellent and mind boggling tastes as simple as it is, and it will play your mouth like you would never believe. It has fragrances as if you were in central China, a taste as if you were on one of the Indonesian Islands, while a mountain breeze plays with your hair!
Hope you can keep up with me, as it is fast !

You need:
250 gram firm fish, perch, seabass, mackerel, or barracuda.
250 Ml of water
5-6 good quality Sichuan flower peppers
1 Facing Heaven Bullet chilli dried
1 Cabai Bendot if possible( Red Rocoto or Giant Red Rocoto )
5 cm of winter carrot
5 cm leek
1 little clove of garlic
1 little red onion
A bit of sea salt
One dinner spoon peanut oil or rapeseed oil
Chinese Jasmine tea
A couple of branches Samphire or seaweed if possible
A little dried rice noodles

If you can't get the seaweed and the Cabai Bendot, no worries it will still taste great.

Put water up in a normal pan with a lid, about a litre to get to the boil.

Slice your fish in thin slices. I use Vietnamese barracuda here that tempted me to use Dong Xuan Market, but pepper would not fit in it.
Slice thin slices from your garlic, less than a mm.
Peel the skin off from the Facing Heaven Bullet, and cut in to very fine pieces.
Crush and cut the flower pepper in fine pieces.

Put your wok or frying pan on medium fire with the oil, slices of garlic, the crushed flower pepper and fine cut Facing Heaven Bullet chilli.

Slice the leek and carrot “Julienne” making nice and fine strips. Cut thin half moon slices of red onion, and Cabai Bendot.

As soon as the garlic starts to sizzle the first bit, add 250 ml of water and some good sea salt. In the pan with only the water blanche the Samphire in it for just a minute or 2 and take it out.
Then put a handful of dried rice noodles, and a tea egg with Chinese Jasmine tea enough to make the water to a light tea. Put down the heat on the pan with the tea water and rice noodles.
The water in the wok will now almost be boiling too, add the fish, this will take very little time as the fish just has to get white. So as soon as it is to the boil again it is ready.
Rinse the plates with hot water, now start serving. Put a good soup spoon full of the fish with its broth in the plate. Centre the fish in the middle, with the broth around it. Take some rice noodles, just about more than a dinner spoon full out of the pan with Jasmine tea, and put on top of the fish. I do this with chop sticks, as the stuff is very slippery. Take the leek Julienne between two fingers in the middle, and place it on top of noodles. Stick 3 Julliene pieces of carrot between the fish and the noodles just pointing outwards. Around the fish in its broth, put 3-5 half moons of red onion, and 3-5 half moons of Cabai Bendot.

Enjoy !

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Friday, 7 December 2012

Growing chillies: Germinating chilli seeds.

To have chilli seeds to germinate, is one difficult business. It is an art really. So hold on your socks, and get ready! There are many many ways to do that, and I will walk you through a couple. You can germinate them on wet tissue paper, in ziplock bags. I do that to check the germination rate, it works wonders. Then again, if they germinate and you want to transplant them to soil, you are bound to damage a few. After checking the germination rate, I throw them away.
You can also germinate them in moist cotton wool, and transplant them top soil if they germinate, again a good few will be damaged. You can also germinate them in wet sand, but that at times seems to suffocate the seeds. You can also germinate them in diatomite, if you want to grow them hydro, but I don’t. And last but not least, you can germinate them in gel from pampers, works great as they give off water at a slow rate and it is sterile.

You can also seed them in soil, rather funny that people do a lot of different miraculous ways of seeding, while most seeds are made to germinate in soil. I am not sarcastic, but I know there are a load of good ways to keep you and me paying a load more, for not a lot more. Last time I looked at seeding soil, which actually is normal potting soil, only run through a sieve. Well, I can so that myself, without paying 5 to 8 times as much.
So what do you need is moist loose potting soil(compost), 100% humidity for the time until you see the first leaves, and a snug temperature from 24-26 Celsius. To do this you can use fancy propagators with heating, common propagators put over the heating or radiators, you can even use takeaway boxes. And that is what I do.

What you need:
Good potting soil, not super expensive stuff.
Worm compost if possible
Takeaway boxes with lids Some water
Good seeds
A warm spot
If in doubt over the seeds, some tea and some chamomile tea

If you want your seeds to be fast, or if you are in doubt about the seeds you can several things. You can soak them in germinating solution that will cost you good money, and doesn’t really do a lot. You can also soak them in weak tea, or rather a weak tea from 50 % tea and 50% chamomile tea (also spelled chamomile) If you do half and half chamomile tea, you got the advantage that the chamomile is anti septic. It will keep the seeds from getting mould. It will break down the hull or seed skin a bit, making it easier for the full seeds to pull out.
So, put them in a mug or a ziplock bag for 8-12 hours with the mixed tea.

Now for the takeaway boxes, they need to be ultra clean, I fill them with washing up water, and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds without the lid. The Lid I clean apart, and put some holes in it with a perforator. Then again I put them with a little water in it, with the lid on for 30 seconds in the microwave. This will make them sterile. A run in the dishwasher will do the same.

So, put about 25-30 mm moist soil in the takeway box, without chunks or hard bits. Put in the seeds, marked if you do multiple varieties. Put them under the ground as much as they are in size, so that they are covered with about 2-3 mm of soil. This will make it easier for the first leaves to totally get out of the seeds skin.
If you have it, worm compost or compost from a compost heap that has worms is a great thing to add. I have my own wormbins, and add 10% cleaned worm compost with the potting soil. Sometimes I add just one little worm. The worm and the life in the worm compost will eat mould if you get it. Seeds that rot will be eaten too. And that is a good thing, to get rid off before it affects the other seedlings.
Normally I cover the seeds with 2 mm of soil, not this time for the picture.

Put them at a warm and snug place, over the radiator or the central heating, or on a modem or computer. I use my computer for it all the time as it has the right temperature. Some people advice temperatures of 28-32, but that has a downside, moulds or bacteria will grow at a much faster rate. So 20 C will do, 23-26 much better, higher will have things speed up with a load as well as the risks for mould or fungus.

If they are up a bit they need light ! So a dark spot is not too good, however you can put a simple led spot over it, or a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) The colour if possible should be 6400-6500 K.

Now leave them alone, or sit and watch. Keep them moist only, not wet, and keep the lids on to keep the humidity at 100%. It will take 5-10 days for them all to be above the ground, and a couple of days to get rid of the hull or seed skin. There are a few exceptions; wild varieties can take up to 2 months. When they all have shed their seed skin, it is time to take the lid off and get them used to lower humidity levels. Ok, in about 14 days I will take you to the next step!

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Monday, 3 December 2012

Taste report for Rocoto de Seda

It's Rocoto season!

After waiting for more than two full months my Rocoto de Seda finally turned to beautiful jellow.
Today I harvested the first one and couldn't wait tasting it.

The inside contains three "chambers" with large black seeds (black seeds are typical pubescens).
Carefully i put a piece in my mouth. HMMMM! Nice sweet like raisins, no not those sticky black things from the red box but raisins that are not ruined by sulfuring them.
(who invented the sulfuring? why ruin the lovely tast raisins have?)
I even tasted some banana.
After a few seconds the heat kicks in, aw! to much for me!
With the juices the heat spreads quick over my, lips, mouth, throat and stomach, everywhere.

Inspired by the raisin like taste I took what was over from the fruit, cut some raisins, added a little water and sugar and as finish some lemon juice.
Cooked it slowly for a few minutes. The rocoto and raisins did match indeed..its a sort of hot baklava...maybe try hot apple pie next time

Bart, thank you for letting me write on your blog!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Taste review Sichuan (Szechuan) peper or the spice the west forgot to steal.

Now this is an odd way to start a post, with a title like that, but you will get it later.

This pepper that is not a pepper at all, is one weird thing.
Somewhere down the line in history things got confused and the word pippali from the ancient Dravidian language (India) word for long pepper (Piper longum). Via the Persian people it landed in the Roman empire. The Romans however, turned pippali into the Latin piper which was used by the Romans to refer both to black pepper and long pepper, as the Romans believed that both of these spices came from the same plant. And they do not. Now as this piper was getting expensive, people started looking for alternatives, cheapest being the black pepper. Now following this mistake after the Roman times even the melegueta pepper was called piper in the 15th century, and after this the Portuguese dicovered the Portuguese peper (chilli ).

So, with all this history I read for hours again, I get the distinct feeling that more and more the name pepper started getting to be used for a herb or rather fruit that has a mouth feel being spicy, hot or prickly.
The Szechuan is not just a district in China, with Chengdu as its capital. And actually it is Sichuan, the Cantones write it like Szechuan. And no the Sichuan (four rivers) province is not just a province, it is almost a culture on its own complete with its own typical cuisine, fantastic. I will tell you more on a later occasion about the Sichuan cuisine.

The Sichuan (Szechuan) or flower pepper belongs to a cuisine, and I heard about it years ago, so at one point I could get them and some more of their typical spices. That name is odd and confusing as it's Sichuan, 4 rivers, Szechuan is how it appears on most menus as it is how Cantonese tend to write it...
Anyways, the utter disappointment was big as the taste was not at all that good. Now recently I got a mail from China Spice in the UK, that I needed to taste this Sichuan flower pepper that they hand selected at the spot in the Sichuan regent. So to be honest I was sort off like, sure, I can, but will it really bring something? I have heard and read soo much about their cuisine, but tried and failed, and thought nothing of it.

Curiosity killed me when I got the parcel so I simply had to dig in. Most of all actually as I was warned that the effect of this flower pepper might ever so surprise me. When I opened the bag, the aroma immediately came towards me, fragrant citrus/lemon with a flower like almost perfumy smell. Smelling again, the smell is very complex, citrus, black pepper, bayleaf and eucalyptus without the mint, maybe even lavender. Now the smell was so complex, I had to ask my friend and collogue taste tester Aldo.
Although we almost always agree, he smells something different: Flowers, curry plant, black pepper, Mandarin orange, and all combined making him think of perfume as well.
Take only half a husk John Coupland said, and told me it plays your tongue so everybody tastes it different due to a bioactive component called Hydroxy-alpha sanshool is  So I actually listened and took only half, ready with an other half. Instantly I got the citrus, black pepper and the herbs with vague bayleaf and the acidity pleasant and very strong taste, not at all like the stuff I tried earlier. After the taste has gone all around your mouth, then your tongue starts acting up, like you get different tastes on different places. Then the fizz starts, almost like a light electrical current of those fizzy candies you use to eat back when we were kids. This is really exciting!
Now to be sure I asked Aldo again, to ask what he tasted:
He tasted flowers, grains of paradise, black pepper, then the anesthetic like you get from Acmella oleracea, then Mandarin Orange.
Left cheap stuff- right the good quality.

Now be warned about the cheap stuff, you can see it is brown not red, or has a lot of seeds in it. The seeds are in it to make it heavier, even though the seeds can not be used, it adds weight. So even though it might be cheap, you get less value for money, and a heap of seeds you can not use. The seeds are gritty and hard, and will not soften at all. So you need to take them out. It either lacks totally for any tingling or fizzing, or the play off tastes you get. It merely tastes only like old Mandarin oranges or cheap toilet lemon blocks.
Second warning, everything tastes different after eating Sichuan pepper, your beer, your desert and your cigarette if you still smoke. They say your tongue gets rebooted after eating it, and that my readers is true, fantastic! Get the good stuff and taste, then take a bit of dark chocolate. . . .  Not telling hihi

Now as the Sichuan flower pepper from John and Jenny Coupland from China Spice are super fresh I hoped to get some seeds I might try and seed. . . . I found a stunning 4 only in a bag I will not finish in at least 3 months, that is quality. John and Jenny, you gave us taste testers a great challenge, and a lovely experience to boot eh interest to the Sichuan cuisine!
Thank you !!

Yours sincerely,

Bart J, Meijer
And Aldo !